Towercos Offer Traverse City Cash For Long-term Leases


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Vital statistics: $40,000 per yr revenue,  $700k cash buyout of lease

Three telecom companies are pitching cash buyouts to municipalities and school districts in the Traverse City, Michigan area in exchange for long-term leases on their existing cell towers.

Unison, Crown Castle and TowerPoint have offered some $700,000 in lump sum payments to the local school board for two towers; currently, the towers generate about $40,000 a year in revenue, reports the Ticker.

Each offer is different concerning details like revenue-sharing. The $700,000 would be placed in the school district’s general fund.

Christine Thomas-Hill, Executive Director of Finance/Operations for the Traverse City Area Public Schools Board says the process can move forward once a deal is struck; she anticipates wrapping up the process this fall, according to the account. 

On the other side of the market in Elmwood Township, the town board will consider a proposal at its next public meeting on September 12. An unnamed telecom firm wants to buy the lease on a cell tower. Though a city official declined to go into details with the Ticker, he did say the city would essentially give up control of the tower.

Grand Traverse County’s Parks and Recreation Commission declined a similar lease conversion offer of $232,848 earlier this year from Unison for two towers, saying the one-time payment would cutoff more than $500,000 in potential future revenue.

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